Antonov An-8 Camp ("product P")
Military transport aircraft Antonov An-8 KB ("product P") was created both for landing and parachute landing of airborne troops with equipment and weapons attached to them, as well as for transporting the wounded. The maximum transport-landing force is 11 tons or 60 soldiers for landing landing, or 40 paratroopers. In the sanitary version, 50 injured on stretchers or 32 lying and 42 sitting patients can be transported by airplane.
At the end of the 1940s, the design bureau supervised by Oleg Antonov started its work. The first serially produced AN-2 aircraft developed by the design bureau was the most famous absolutely steel biplane after the World War II. Total quantity of serially produced AN-2 exceeded 18 ths samples. During 1947-1984, the design bureau created AN-2, AN-8, AN-10, AN-12 aircraft, a series of AN-24 aircraft and its versions.
Antonov first entered the military transport scene in 1956 with its twin turboprop An-8. In 1954-1956 the "Kyiv State Aircarft Plant 12" (GAZ-12) Aviant works produced a prototype of the military transport aircraft An-8 fitted with two turboprop engines with the power 5180 ehp that provided for flight at the cruise speed of 450 kph, carrying capacity of up to 11 t, and flight range of up to 3900 km. The An-8 was the first specialized airplane in the country; at that vehicle the scheme of a passenger aircraft was perfected. By now it has become a classic one: a high-wing airplane with engines at wings, the body landing gear in special spats, and a big cargo door in rear.
The Antonov An-8 twin-engined assault transport was designed to carry either a tank or paratroops, and to offer the Soviet forces a similar capability to that of the Fairchild C-119, but less than that of the then new Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The An-8 soon proved itself, but a relatively small production of 151 followed because the Soviet military authorities quickly sought a larger aircraft more capable of matching the performance of the growing numbers of Hercules entering service with the US Air Force and its allies.
The An-8s formed the basis for the stretched, four engined An-10 airliner for Aeroflot. The An-10 in turn formed the basis for the An12, the main differences between the two being the latter's more upswept rear fuselage and rear loading ramp. A little more than a year after the first flight of the An-8, its larger brother, the four-engined An-12, flew. The most mass application of the An-8 took place in 1962 during carrying out of exercises on the territories of Poland and GDR.
An-8 was produced from 1958 to 1961, during this time, 151 vehicles were built. Since 1959, the An-8 aircraft began to be used by the military transport aviation (BTA), where it was operated before 1970. At that time, 80 vehicles were decommissioned, and the rest were transferred to units of other combat arms and various ministries. In 1997, there were 5 aircraft in operation in Russian airlines that carry out commercial transportation in the Middle East, as the use of An-8 over the Russian Federation is prohibited.
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